New Delhi: Seeking to allay concerns in India over the Nuclear deal, President Bush has assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that what India sees as prescriptive provisions will not be American foreign policy.
"Extraneous and prescriptive provisions of the Hyde Act are only advisory and will not be my foreign policy," he said.
In a statement issued shortly after signing the Henry J Hyde US-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act on Monday, Bush indicated that he did not agree with provisions like Section 103 and Section 104(d)(2) in the legislation.
Section 103 of the Act contains provisions on India's co-operation in containing Iran's nuclear programme, India halting fissile material production and appears to dilute fuel supply assurances.
It also suggests that the US would oppose development of a capability to produce nuclear weapons by any non-nuclear weapon state within or outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime.
"Section 103 of the Act purports to establish US policy with respect to various international affairs. My approval of the Act does not constitute my adoption of the statements of policy as US foreign policy. Given the Constitution's commitment to the presidency of the authority to conduct the nation's foreign affairs, the executive branch shall construe such policy statements as advisory," Bush said.
The section also says that the US would work with Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) members to further restrict transfers of equipment and technologies related to uranium enrichment, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and production of heavy water to all countries, including India.
However, Bush said that it would not be binding on his government thereby opening up the doors for transfer to India of items not approved by the NSG.
These aspects in the Bill are being seen with concern in India, leading to demands there that the agreement be terminated.
The statement said section 104(d)(2) of the Act was 'construed to prohibit the executive branch from transferring or approving the transfer of an item to India contrary to NSG transfer guidelines that may be in effect at the time of such a transfer, a serious question would exist as to whether the provision unconstitutionally delegated legislative power to an international body'.
"In order to avoid this constitutional question, the executive branch shall construe section 104(d)(2) as advisory. The executive branch will give sections 103 and 104(d)(2) the due weight that comity between the legislative and executive branches should require, to the extent consistent with US foreign policy," Bush said.
"The executive branch shall construe provisions of the Act that mandate, regulate, or prohibit submission of information to the Congress, an international organisation, or the public, such as sections 104, 109, 261, 271, 272, 273, 274, and 275, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to protect and control information that could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties," the President added.
(With inputs from PTI)